The Beginner’s Guide to Babyproofing

in Health & Safety on by

A baby putting his hand on a babyproof rail guard

Your tiny infant has grown into a squirming, crawling, little person before your very eyes. The only downside to them growing up (other than the fact that they’re not that squishy little newborn they once were) is that they are now able to get into everything. Once your baby starts to crawl, and eventually, walk, you’re going to need to babyproof your apartment to keep them from hurting themselves as they learn to pull up on furniture and stick their fingers in places they don’t belong.

Here’s a beginner’s guide to making your home safe for those cute little troublemakers:

The Kitchen

The kitchen is a landmine of trouble for a newly mobile baby. To you, it’s the place where you prepare meals and put dishes away, but to them, the kitchen is a wonderland of things to poke, pull down, and put in their mouths.

Just like you would when tackling any other babyproofing project, you should look at your kitchen from the standpoint of your baby. Where is it easiest for them to poke through with their little hands? Where are you storing chemicals that could be dangerous to them?

Here are a few things you need to look at when babyproofing your kitchen:

  • Take a good look at all of your bottom cabinets. Are you storing any cleaning supplies or harsh chemicals there? If so, you’ll have to either move them up where baby can’t reach or install a special cabinet lock to prevent them from accessing them. The only things that should be stored in the bottom cabinets should be things like pots and pans or paper products.
  • Move other potential hazards like plastic bags and sharp objects up high so baby cannot reach them.
  • Once baby gets a little taller, you should also install some stove knob covers to keep them from accidentally turning on the stove.

The Living Room

The living room is the place where the whole family hangs out, but it can also present a lot of dangers to small children. In this room, the biggest risks are the sharp corners of the furniture and the potential for things to fall down.

Here’s what you need to babyproof your living room:

  • Make sure you move furniture away from the windows so that baby won’t climb up and potentially fall down.
  • Mount any freestanding heavy furniture (bookshelves or TV cabinets) to the wall. That way if baby tries to pull themselves up on that the piece of furniture, nothing will fall or topple over on them.
  • Put away any knickknacks that are laying around to prevent choking.
  • Switch to cordless blinds on the windows to do away with a strangulation risk.
  • Put covers over any exposed electrical outlets.

The Bathroom

A baby playing with his rubber duck in the tub

The bathroom is a place where you go to give baby her bath every evening before you put them to bed, but it can also be filled with slipping and tripping hazards, as well as a number of harmful chemicals.

Here are a few ways to babyproof the bathroom:

  • Never leave your child unattended in the bathroom or the bathtub. Even if left unattended for a second, there is a high risk of drowning at a young age and you don’t want to take any chances.
  • As you did in the kitchen, move any harmful products or cleaning agents up to higher shelves or install a cabinet lock.
  • Lock up the toilet by installing a toilet lock. Trust us: You don’t want your baby to have the opportunity to throw anything down there and cause a major plumbing problem.
  • Keep a thermometer nearby to test out baby’s bathwater.

The Nursery

The nursery is baby’s main hangout spot in your home. It’s where they have all of their clothes, toys, and books, and most importantly, it’s where they sleep. It’s also the place where you feed your baby for the first few months of their life.

Here’s what needs to be babyproofed in the nursery:

  • Install a thick piece of carpeting or a rug to cushion baby’s falls (and there will be lots!).
  • Plug nightlights into a few outlets that baby can’t directly access so you can see where you’re going when they cry in the middle of the night.
  • Ensure that all sheets and bedding are tightly tucked into the crib. You’ll also want to remove stuffed animals and loose blankets, which are considered SIDs risks. Avoid putting these items on baby’s bed until they’re a toddler.
  • Purchase a toy box with a closing lid that they can’t open so that you can limit their access to those toys you only want them to play with at certain times.
  • Install finger pinch guards on the doors and hinges to prevent the smashing of little hands.

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